Barking is one of dogs' way of communication, but excessive barking is an issue many dog owners encounter. Here are the possible reasons why your dog feels the need to bark and how to teach them to stop.
What triggers excessive barking
There are many possible reasons but the most common are:
- when there is someone at the door, entering your home or people walking by your house.
- at cats or birds in the garden
- when they are bored and want your attention
- when they are on their own
How to get your dog to stop barking
If your dog is barking when someone is the door
Alarm barking happens when your dog wants to warn you about something, such as someone ringing the bell, a car pulling in the driveway, people walking near the house...
In those situations, you can teach them a "replacement behaviour" that will take their mind off the need to bark. For instance, when someone is at the door, make your dog fetch a toy or tell them to go to bed, so that they are no longer in the area.
If your dog barks at cats and birds in the garden
You can teach your pooch a recall that rewards them for turning their attention to you instead of the cats and birds. Make sure to reward your dog every time they decide to come to you, to let them know that it's the appropriate behaviour.
If your dog is barking at people walking past your home
This is a territorial barking behaviour which you can manage by not giving them access to the window sill where they can see outside. Distract them by putting their favourite toys in another part of your home.
You can also close the curtains and blinds or even put cling window film that makes windows more opaque.